Colostrum is an amazing ally in the treatment of fungal overgrowth. It has many properties that aid in the fortifying of health in general, especially from its immune modulating effects and secondly from its positive growth inducing effects. To understand how colostrum aids in treatment of fungal infections, we first need to understand a little about fungus, and specifically the type of fungus that commonly affects humans; Candida.
Candida is a type of yeast, comprising over 150 species with 6 that are common in humans. Of these the most common is Candida Albicans, accounting for around 50% of all Candida infections. The Candida species are the most common cause of opportunistic fungal infections in the world. They are a natural part of our internal environment, although in immuno-compromised people or people with a history of antibiotic use or generally poor health and lifestyle patterns, Candida can cause infections in human skin and mucous membranes.
Candida is a dimorphic organism – that is, it has two separate identities – it’s very nature can change under certain conditions from beneficial or benign to extremely problematic. In its benign form, it is yeast, but if conditions are favorable for it to proliferate, it morphs into a fungus and its effect on the body can be quite diverse and dramatic.
In its yeast form it is unicellular and has no roots. It can co-exist with the other elements of our microbiome in relative harmony. If it morphs into its mycelial fungal form it begins to form rhizoid ‘roots’ that are long, branching structures that penetrate through our gut looking for nutrients and effectively trying to decompose us. Not entirely fun if you intend on living with radiant health.
The environment that is favorable for Candida to morph into its more sinister form is simply opportunity. A prime example is when the yeast form is unchecked in its growth and there is plenty of available ‘real estate’ around it in the gut (especially following antibiotic use that has killed off the inhabitant bacterial flora of the gut). This provides opportunity for it to become multi-cellular (larger and more complex) fungus, and inspires it to move into surrounding areas and seek out more food for itself. Fungus has an insatiable appetite, kind of like fire, and it will continue to grow and spread for as far and as long as it is able to. Losing the battle with fungus is essentially losing the right to remain in a living body.
Effective treatment of fungal infections needs to be comprehensive and structured. This is an intelligent, ancient organism well worthy of our respect. Simply going after it with anti-fungal agents has proven in my practice to only elicit a survival response from the fungus, sending it into hiding only to emerge stronger and more resistant than before.
The game of restoring a fungi infested gut is less to do with killing Candida and more to do with managing the afore mentioned ‘real estate’. We must start by starving Candida to reduce its available food. By doing this we reduce its ability to proliferate and continue to change its form into the damaging fungi. This is why an anti-fungal diet is so vital – and only one of the steps required to completely return it to balance with the rest of the population of the gut. To be able to treat an overgrowth effectively we need several actions to be sequenced correctly:
1. Starve the fungus to retard further growth.
2. Support the vitality, immune function and growth factors in the host.
3. Breakdown the defenses of the fungus – specifically the biofilm.
4. Deliver the cleansing agents (anti-fungals) in a systematic, cyclical way to ensure the fungi’s escape mechanisms are avoided.
5. Restore full function to the gut by ensuring the ‘real estate’ is inhabited by a healthy and diverse population.
A key component of the treatment of this insidious form of Candida is the use of colostrum. Although, as you will see below, colostrum has few direct effects on the fungi, but indirectly it’s a tremendous support to the overall process. This happens primarily in steps 2 and 5 and also in step 4 through Lactoferrin.
Over 4000 clinical studies detail the use of colostrum in the treatment of different diseases. The primary reason for this are the two main components of colostrum; immune factors and growth factors.
The immune factors in colostrum have a tremendous effect on increasing immune function in humans. The ability to neutralize toxins, kill bacteria, fungi and viruses, stimulate glandular function, and upregulate many aspects of the entire immune system clearly identify colostrum as beneficial for ameliorating disease states.
The growth factors found in bovine colostrum all boost cellular and tissue growth by stimulating DNA and RNA formation. Studies show that these growth factors are capable of increasing T cells, accelerating healing, balancing blood glucose, reducing insulin need, and increasing muscle and bone growth while metabolizing fat.
Elements of Colostrum include:
As you can see, with respect to Candida sp., the effects of colostrum are more indirect than direct in their action. The modulation of immune system is primary, facilitating the body’s natural defense in retarding the growth of Candida. Secondly, the supportive growth environment for beneficial bacteria that will compete with Candida for terrain within the mucosa aids greatly in the rebalancing.
Another benefit from the growth inducing properties of colostrum, is that they act on the mucosa itself, reducing the ability for penetration of the mucosal wall through its enhanced integrity.
One of the few direct ways that colostrum does affect fungus is via lactoferrin. Lactoferrin is a multi-functional glycoprotein that is actually already used by the human body as a major component of the immune system. Lactoferrin acts as a potent antimicrobial to dangerous pathogens such as salmonella, E. coli, listeria, staphylococcus, clostridium and, candida albicans. Though the body already contains some measures of lactoferrin, supplementing it through colostrum will greatly magnify its candida killing effects through concentration.
Fungal infections are no joke. They can be devastating to health and are a constant and significant drain on an individual’s vitality. Approaching Fungal infections requires dedication, diligence and discipline. The pay-offs though are worth it.
Colostrum is a pivotal ally in the process of gut restoration. Using colostrum intelligently will have lasting beneficial effect to general health and in the treatment of fungal infections, it is a necessary and wonderful food. After all, it is what nature deemed the best food for the first 24-48 hours of all mammal’s new life.